The Number One Killer Worldwide is Salt
Scientists say that salt is the number one killer in the world.
High blood pressure is the culprit in most deaths worldwide and salt only exacerbates hypertension which causes heart attack and stroke.
It is not simply table salt, however, which contributes to alarmingly high sodium intake.
Fast food, packaged foods even breads and cereals contain a high amount of sodium to preserve shelf life and enhance the taste of otherwise low quality food products.
Reducing daily sodium intake by 2,000 milligrams at the population level could prevent 1.25 million deaths from stroke and almost 3 million deaths from cardiovascular disease each year, according to an analysis published in the British Medical Journal in 2009. A 1,200-milligram reduction could save up to $24 billion annually in U.S. health costs, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2010.
Americans Are Consuming Too Much Salt
It seems that Americans are getting too much sodium in their diets.
Excess sodium raises blood pressure and makes it difficult to lose weight.
Hypertension can lead to heart attack and stroke so it is worth monitoring your diet to eliminate excess salt.
Currently, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommends the average individual should consume a limit of 2,300 milligrams per day. But the average person’s actual sodium consumption per day – 3,300 milligrams, according to the report. And that doesn’t include salt added at the table.
Since sodium acts a preservative it is found in many processed foods.
Breads, rolls, lunch meats and pizza are just some of the worst culprits contributing to excessive sodium in our daily diets.
What Role Does Sodium Really Play in Heart Disease?
Less salt doesn’t necessarily lessen the risk for heart disease.
An evaluation of your nutritional needs, activity level as well as your individual health issues will help to determine how much sodium your body needs.
Nutritionists recommend a daily intake of 1.5 grams of salt for people with heart problems, a level that in this study increased the risk for cardiovascular death by 37 percent.
“It’s still important to avoid consuming too much salt,” said Andrew Mente, an author of the study and an assistant professor of epidemiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. “But people who are consuming moderate amounts may not have to decrease their intake further.”
New standards for school lunches
Too many American children are obese, partly because of terrible eating habits. Fortunately the government has new standards for school lunches that can have a positive impact.
The new rules for school lunches, revealed last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, sound laudable and sane.
Among the standards to gradually be implemented over the next three years are limiting the amount of starchy vegetables (such as potatoes, corn and green peas) to one cup a week; serving only unflavored 1 percent milk or fat-free flavored or unflavored milk; increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables — especially green, leafy vegetables — so that kids are exposed to a variety of vegetables; and requiring that half of the grains served be whole grains. Schools also have to gradually reduce the amount of sodium in meals over 10 years, with the goal of reducing it by more than half.
Parents should be happy.
Posted in: Nutrition
Tags: anti-obesity initiatives, balanced meals, diet, diet for children, obesity, obesity epidemic, obesity in children, reducing sodium intake, school lunch standards, school lunches, sodium